Eagles Head South to Greensboro for Road Opener
BRIDGEWATER, Va. – On the heels of the biggest season-opening victory in program history, the Bridgewater Eagles football team will go on the road this weekend as it makes the trip to North Carolina to tangle with the Greensboro Pride.
Last season, the Eagles used a stellar special teams performance and an impressive defensive effort to roll past Greensboro College by a 33-7 tally at Jopson Field.
A week ago, it was the tale of two different scripts as the Eagles easily defeated St. Vincent, while the Pride came up just short against Guilford College.
Bridgewater used a strong offensive effort mixed with an outstanding effort from the Eagles defense to rout the Bearcats of St. Vincent by a 57-0 tally. The Bridgewater defense scored twice in the win behind a pair of fumble returns for scores.
Greensboro enters the contest off of a heartbreaking loss to cross-town rival Guilford in the Gate City Soup Bowl. The Pride led Guilford with less than two minutes to play until Quakers quarterback Matt Pawlowski hit Hayden Read with a 33-yard touchdown pass with 1:13 left in regulation to lift Guilford to a 31-28 win over Greensboro. The go-ahead score marked the seventh and final lead change in an entertaining season-opening contest at Grimsley High School's Jamieson Stadium.
Quarterback Ryan Throndset returns to the mix for the Pride to lead the offense. Throndset threw for 212 yards and a pair of scores in last weekend's near miss for the Pride.
On the ground, Warren Scott paces the way for Greensboro with 97 yards on 22 carries. Scott is joined in the backfield by sophomore Cortez Vernon who ran for 32 yards a week ago.
Senior wide receiver Dexter Russell was impressive for the Pride a week ago, hauling in 11 passes for 104 yards and a score.
Defensively, the Pride is led by a pair of veteran linebackers. Julian Cinotti amassed eight tackles a week ago, while junior teammate Ethan Smith made seven stops in the loss.
Bridgewater is led into Saturday's game by senior quarterback Willie Logan. Logan was impressive in the Eagles' 57-0 win over St. Vincent. The Luray, Va. native accounted for four touchdowns, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and rushing for an additional two scores. Through the air, Logan was efficient connecting on 10-of-16 passes for 163 yards and two scores.
The Eagles are led on the ground by the two-headed monster of Jacob Wright and Jordan Hartman. Wright led the Bridgewater ground game a week ago with 79 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Hartman added 75 yards on nine carries in the win.
Eleven different players recorded a reception for the Eagles a week ago with senior Cassidy Burns leading the way with two catches for 82 yards and a score. Senior Shawn Lee also added a touchdown reception on a 25-yard pattern early in the third quarter.
Defensively, the Eagles are led by the reigning Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Defensive Player of the Week, Andrew Palmer. Against the Bearcats, Palmer amassed nine total tackles, including eight tackle assists. The senior linebacker helped set the tone for a Bridgewater defense that didn't allow St. Vincent to get past midfield until the final drive of the contest. Early in the second half, Palmer picked off an Andy Borgen pass to set up Bridgewater's sixth score of the day. The Penn Laird, Va. native also tallied one tackle for a loss on the afternoon.
The shutout for the Bridgewater defense was its first since September 9, 2006 when the Eagles posted a 30-0 win over Shenandoah.
Last season marked the first meeting in series history between Greensboro and Bridgewater. The Eagles used a stellar special teams performance and an impressive defensive effort to roll past visiting Greensboro by a 33-7 tally in last season's contest.
The Eagles will be looking for their 44th victory in the month of September under Clark when action kicks off on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Jamieson Stadium on the campus of Grimsley High School. For fans who are unable to attend, the game will be aired live on 95.5 WBOP FM in the Shenandoah Valley starting with the pregame show starting at 12:30 p.m.